Cayo farmers have been offered a sweet deal from the Santander Group, to get into the lucrative sugar industry without any initial investment by the farmers. Santander’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jose Rodriguez says they can enjoy a secure income growing sugarcane while also increasing Belize’s exports and helping the country become self-sufficient in green, clean energy production.

No start-up capital? No problem, says CEO Jose Rodriguez, emphasizing that all the farmers need, is to have their lands cleared and prepared for farming. The company’s engineers will do the rest. The company will send in its heavy equipment, guided by high tech, state-of-the-art laser systems, to level the land for correct drainage. The company will do all the heavy lifting at the start, as their machinery will also do the planting and harvesting. No need for the prospective cane farmer to hire cane cutters or to buy cane seed. The company will completely finance the initial cost of getting the farmer established as a sugar cane grower. The company would collect on the back end to recoup their investment when the farmer brings in his first harvest, with the company’s help.

When it comes to harvest time, the farmers will no longer need to hire cane cutters or a truck to deliver the cane to the factory. The company is 100% mechanized in its field operations, and it will send in its harvester combine to cut the cane and load it on to trucks, which will deliver the cane to the mill. This improves efficiency, reduces sugar losses from deterioration, as there is no long waiting in cane truck lines as was the norm in the north. Almost immediate delivery to the factory cuts the “kill-to-mill” time to a couple of hours.

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